Wanjira Mathai

Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, World Resources Institute

Wanjira Mathai is the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute. She formerly served as Co-chair of WRI’s Global Restoration Council and a Senior Advisor to the Global Restoration Initiative. She is the current Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation and the former Chair of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. An inspiring leader, Wanjira has over 20 years of experience advocating for social and environmental change on both local and international platforms. Over the years, Wanjira has also served important strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, youth leadership, sustainable energy, and landscape restoration, at Women Entrepreneurs in Renewables (wPOWER), the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF), and the Green Belt Movement (GBM) the organization her mother, Wangari Maathai (2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) founded in 1977.

Wanjira currently serves on the Board of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and as a Leadership Council member of the Clean Cooking Alliance. Wanjira is one of a few Six Seconds EQ Practitioners in Kenya and was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Women in 2018 and 2020.

Live Event Appearances

Podcast Guest Appearances

2022: This Year in Climate

As 2022 comes to a close, Climate One takes a look back at the climate highs and lows and revisits conversations with some of the most insightful leaders we spoke with this year.  

Climate-amplified natural disasters continue to wreak devastation on communities and countries all across the world, costing many lives and lots of money. This year’s Atlantic hurricane season was one of the costliest on record. According to the New York Times, the total cost of hurricanes has gone up elevenfold since the 1980s, and that’s adjusted for inflation.